Rugby League World Cup 2013: Fiji v Ireland as it happened

Live text commentary as Fiji defeat Ireland in front of a record crowd at Rochdale at the 2013 World Cup.

28 October 2013 Last updated at 22:21

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As it happened

  1. 2213: 

    That's it for tonight. The next live text commentary from the Rugby League World Cup is tomorrow evening, when Scotland get their campaign under way against Tonga in Workington.

    In the meantime, the BBC Sport website will have all of the latest news and views from the tournament - visit www.bbc.co.uk/rugbyleague.

  2. 2210: 
    REMAINING GROUP A FIXTURES

    Saturday, 2 November:

    England v Ireland, Huddersfield, 14:30 GMT

    Australia v Fiji, St Helens, 20:00 GMT

    Saturday, 9 November:

    England v Fiji, Hull, 14:30 GMT

    Australia v Ireland, Limerick, 20:00 GMT

  3.  

    Nathan Driscoll: Uate is some finisher. Another decent game with an excellent crowd - shaping up to be some tournament.

    Andrew Priestley: Good to see Ireland finish strongly. It's desperately hard to qualify when you lose your opener, the boys need to react positively.

  4. 2206: 

    So Fiji go top of Group A by virtue of a better points difference. Australia also have one win to their name, with England and Ireland propping them up.

  5. 2204: 

    Fiji full-back Kevin Naiqama: "It was definitely an important win. We have waiting a long time for this game and the boys were very anxious to play. I'm just glad we got the result because the guys players their hearts out. The people of Rochdale were great with their support and we thank them for that."

  6. 2203: 

    Ireland coach Mark Aston: "If you cough up the ball, these teams will cause you problems. I won't fault the boys for effort, they stuck in there, but we didn't play particularly smart. We went for the big plays. I'm disappointed but there's something to work on."

  7. 2200: 

    Fiji coach Rick Stone: "It was a bit untidy. There was plenty of effort and intent, but we know we have plenty of work to do. I'm very happy with our first win but we have work to do before we face Australia."

  8.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I was expecting to see the Fijians to play a little more flamboyantly, but we saw a more physical and disciplined game from them. They were too aggressive at times and must work on that before they face Australia and England."

  9. 80 mins: 
    FULL-TIME- Fiji 32-14 Ireland
  10. 79 mins: 
    CONVERTED TRY- Fiji 32-14 Ireland - James Hasson, Pat Richards con

    Ireland finishing with a flourish. Liam Finn's penalty kick finds touch a yard from the touchline and the ball is worked to James Hasson, who powers over to add some respectability to the scoreline. Pat Richards nails his first successful kick, and it's all over.

  11. 76 mins: 
    TRY- Fiji 32-8 Ireland - Damien Blanch

    Stuart Littler's kick hits Sisa Ledua Waqa and Damien Blanch picks up the pieces to cross for Ireland's second try. No more than a consolation, though. Ireland have been well beaten here. Pat Richards misses the kick at goal.

  12.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "We have so much respect for Pat Richards in this country but this evening Akuila Uate has made him look very average. Three times he has gone head-to-head against him and three times he has come up trumps."

  13. 73 mins: 
    TRY- Fiji 32-4 Ireland - Akuila Uate

    It's a hat-trick of tries of Akuila Uate. The Newcastle Knights winger bounces off four members of a demoralised Irish defence and grounds the ball over the line. Wes Naiqama slips over and fails with the kick at goal.

  14. 71 mins: 
    Fiji 28-4 Ireland

    A sell-out crowd of almost 9,000 people are at Spotland to enjoy this one - a stadium record. Great news for the tournament organisers and more so for Rochdale Hornets, who worked so hard for the right to stage this fixture.

  15. 69 mins: 
    Fiji 28-4 Ireland

    As mentioned earlier, Fiji and Rochdale have a long association that goes back more than 50 years, so a victory for the Bati will be one of the most popular and most celebrated of this World Cup. Just the small matter of the Aussies up next at Langtree Park on Saturday...

  16. 66 mins: 
    CONVERTED TRY- Fiji 28-4 Ireland - Korbin Sims, Wes Naiqama con

    Tariq Sims and brother Korbin both try to catch a high Alipate Noilea kick, competing with two Irish defenders. Korbin touches down and video referee Henry Perenara awards the try. This Group A game is surely now beyond Ireland's reach.

  17. 63 mins: 
    TRY- Fiji 22-4 Ireland - Akuila Uate

    That might be the try that clinches the game for Fiji, and once again it is the deadly Akuila Uate who does the damage. Aaron Groom and Kevin Naiqama are involved in the move and Uate juggles the ball before diving over in the corner for his second score of the match. Wes Naiqama hits the right-hand post with the resulting conversion.

  18. 62 mins: 
    Fiji 18-4 Ireland

    Just a quarter of the match remaining and it has just gone a little bit flat. Fiji have a 14-point advantage and look in control. But, as we saw last night with Samoa's great fightback against the World Cup holders New Zealand, one try can change the momentum of any game.

  19.  

    Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash: Due to the physical nature of the sport, rugby league players risk a lot and get paid very little and disgusting amounts. Salary cap has to be lifted.

  20. 59 mins: 
    Fiji 18-4 Ireland

    Ireland's Brett White is guilty of being a little late on Fiji half-back Alipate Noilea, who is left winded on the ground for a couple of minutes. No penalty against the prop, though.

  21. 58 mins: 
    Fiji 18-4 Ireland

    Ah - Australia coach Tim Sheens is at Spotland too. He is much more wrapped up against the elements in comparison to Steve McNamara, who is obviously used to October's weather in the north of England.

  22. 53 mins: 
    Fiji 18-4 Ireland

    England coach Steve McNamara is in attendance at Spotland. No surprise really, as both of these sides are in Group A alongside England and Australia.

  23. 51 mins: 
    CONVERTED TRY- Fiji 18-4 Ireland - Tariq Sims, Wes Naiqama con

    Fiji seize the initiative once more. Ireland full-back Scott Grix is unable to grasp a high Alipate Noilea kick and the ball is offloaded to second-rower Tariq Sims, who evades a desperate late challenge to touch the ball down over the whitewash. Wes Naiqama is successful with the kick and the Bati lead 18-4.

  24. 50 mins: 
    Fiji 12-4 Ireland

    Not much in the way of attacking action in the opening minutes of the second half. Both sides have been adjusting to the slippery conditions during an attritional few minutes.

  25.  
    Fiji's Eloni Vunakece is tackled by Ireland's Bob Beswick and Brett White

    Andrew Priestley: Ireland to make a roaring comeback and nick a win from this game late on. Fiji will rue their missed chances - you heard it here first.

  26. 44 mins: 
    Fiji 12-4 Ireland

    The talk about discipline in the Fiji dressing room at half-time obviously didn't include the words "no high shots please, gents". Vitale Junior Roqica makes contact with the head of Scott Grix and Ireland have a penalty near their own line. Meanwhile, Fiji are back to 13 men as Eloni Vunakece has completed his 10-minute period in the sin bin.

  27.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The Fijians have not changed tactics, they are still trying to knock heads off. The rain is bucketing down now and that will be a big leveller."

  28. 40 mins: 
    Fiji 12-4 Ireland

    The wind gets up and the rain falls as the second half begins. The tricky conditions could prove to be an important factor as this game wears on.

  29. 2108: 
    KICK-OFF- Fiji 12-4 Ireland
    Fiji fans in Rochdale

    We're under way in the second half.

  30. 2106: 

    Teams on their way back out...

  31.  

    Mark Brown: Fiji fast and strong, but a bit hotheaded at times. Ireland are hanging in there and with a bit more guile can get back in it.

  32. 2104: 

    So, a chance for everyone to get their breath back after a bruising first 40 minutes in Rochdale. Fiji lead 12-4 at the interval, but will need to survive the first five minutes of the second period with only 12 men.

  33. 2059: 

    Ireland winger Pat Richards: "We know they will come out firing again but we don't think they can go another 40 minutes like that. Hopefully we can hang in there and finish the game off."

  34. 2057: 

    Fiji captain Petero Civoniceva: "We were a little bit frantic. We need to get the momentum going again the second half. We'll talk about our discipline when we go in at half-time and then go again in the second half."

  35.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "I think we're a little disappointed not to have seen Fijian flair but I do like their direct power game, punching holes. Ireland scrambled hard and defended their try line. The couple of times the Fijians have tried to move the ball out wide the passes have not been clean and I would like to see Akuila Uate get the ball a little more."

  36. 40 mins: 
    HALF-TIME- Fiji 12-4 Ireland
  37. 39 mins: 
    PENALTY- Fiji 12-4 Ireland - Wes Naiqama

    Ireland are penalised on the stroke of half-time and Wes Naiqama slots over a kick from close range to stretch the lead to eight points. Just 30 seconds of the first period to go.

  38.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "We expected to see Fijian flair, throwing the ball out wide, but what we are seeing is a very direct game from them, pummelling holes into the Irish line."

  39. 34 mins: 
    SIN BIN- Fiji 10-4 Ireland

    Fiji are reduced to 12 men as Eloni Vunakece is penalised for a high tackle and shown a yellow card. That team warning is put into effect. Scott Grix fires a pass at Pat Richards but the winger cannot collect and the Irish are denied.

  40. 31 mins: 
    DISALLOWED TRY- Fiji 10-4 Ireland

    Fiji's Akuila Uate is denied a second try of the game. The winger is found is an ocean of space by Aaron Groom, but the half-back's pass is forward and the score is chalked off. Still six points the difference.

  41. 29 mins: 
    Fiji 10-4 Ireland

    Ireland have been the better side for the past 10 minutes and Dave Allen misses a big opportunity to reduce the deficit further. The forward spills a pass within sight of the try line and Fiji immediately break, with four in white pushing Scott Grix over the dead-ball line at the other end.

  42.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
    Fiji's Kevin Naiqama is tackled by Ireland's James Mendeika and Ben Currie

    "Some brilliant lead-up work from the Irish. The Fijians have been sucking up some big hits and flying around. In the opening 25 minutes the Fijians have been dominant but score is only 10-4. You have to respect the ball and the opposition."

  43. 24 mins: 
    Fiji 10-4 Ireland

    Worth noting, too, that referee Phil Bentham put Fiji on a team warning during that series of penalty concessions. Ireland will look to take advantage.

  44. 23 mins: 
    TRY- Fiji 10-4 Ireland - Tyrone McCarthy

    Tyrone McCarthy, released by Warrington at the end of the Super League season, gets Ireland back into the game. Fiji's defence is finally breached as the second-rower goes over from dummy-half. From the touchline, Pat Richards misses the kick by a few inches.

  45. 22 mins: 
    Fiji 10-0 Ireland

    Suddenly all the pressure is on Fiji. Korbin Sims rips the ball out with two players in the tackle and Ireland have a fourth consecutive set 10 metres out. Some monster hits from the Fijians and some alert defending from full-back Kevin Naiqama keeps the Wolfhounds at bay - for now...

  46.   
    Dave Woods, BBC Sport commentator on 5 live sports extra

    "This is a bruising and brutal Fijian defence at the moment."

  47.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Fiji are trying to hurt the Irish players and that can draw a lot of energy from you. That is exactly what the Irish want."

  48. 19 mins: 
    Fiji 10-0 Ireland

    Fiji are losing their discipline slightly, flying into a few early tackles, and once again Phil Bentham penalises them. Ireland work the ball to Pat Richards, who is forced inside, and the attack comes to nothing.

  49. 17 mins: 
    Fiji 10-0 Ireland

    Tempers flaring here. James Hasson's tackle on Ashton Sims results in a bit of a flare-up between the two sets of players. Referee Phil Bentham has a word with both, and the game continues with an Irish penalty.

  50.  

    Matt Newsum: Akuila Uate has been a big part of excellent Newcastle Knights season so no surprise among tries for Fiji.

    Dave Pagett: Fiji and Ireland getting a bit tasty already.

  51. 14 mins: 
    NO TRY- Fiji 10-0 Ireland

    Fiji captain Petero Civoniceva, who played for Australia in the final five years ago, is denied a try on his debut for the country of his birth. Video referee Henry Perenara says he was held up over the line. Still one tackle to come, which is safely negotiated by Ireland.

  52.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
    Kevin Naiqama scores a try for Fiji

    "One of the strengths of the Fijian game is when their players are one-on-one - they are so strong and dynamic that they can break out of tackles and beat people, as Kevin Naiqama did with Apirana Pewhairangi."

  53. 13 mins: 
    CONVERTED TRY- Fiji 10-0 Ireland - Kevin Naiqama, Wes Naiqama con

    Indeed he has. A kick from hooker James Storer ricochets off Brett White and eventually falls into the path of Kevin Naiqama, who bustles past the attempted tackle from Apirana Pewhairangi and dots down over the try line. Video referee Henry Perenara is satisfied and presses the 'try' button. Brother Wes slots over the goal and Fiji lead 10-0. It is a little controversial because it did look as though Storer dropped the ball and knocked on before eventually kicking it at the second attempt.

  54. 12 mins: 
    TRY REVIEW- Fiji 4-0 Ireland

    Has Kevin Naiqama gone over for a second Fiji try?

  55. 9 mins: 
    TRY- Fiji 4-0 Ireland - Akuila Uate

    Akuila Uate was one of the stars as Fiji reached the last four of the World Cup in 2008 and he opens their account in 2013, taking a pass from Kevin Naiqama to finish on the right touchline. All five of Fiji's backs ply their trade in Australia's NRL and will gobble up any chances like that. Wes Naiqama narrowly misses the kick at goal.

  56.  

    KratosMountOlympus: Match of the day? ;-) Ireland v Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup is under way.

  57. 9 mins: 
    Fiji 0-0 Ireland

    Ireland full-back Scott Grix is again called upon to mop up a grubber kick. Under pressure, he has to take the ball over his dead-ball line on this occasion. Fiji building some pressure.

  58.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "The Fijians are starting to build some pressure, they are getting good yardage on their go-forward but they are not quite gluing together their key passes just yet."

  59. 8 mins: 
    Fiji 0-0 Ireland

    That penalty came to nothing, as Fiji lost possession 20 metres from the try line. Ireland captain Liam Finn almost lands a 40/20, but his kick has at least eased some of the pressure on his defence.

  60.   
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Fiji will be looking to keep Ireland under pressure. They are going downhill at the moment. The pitch is in perfect condition, the rain is staying off - these are perfect conditions for rugby league."

  61. 6 mins: 
    Fiji 0-0 Ireland

    Fiji's first set of six comes to nothing as Ireland full-back Scott Grix ushers a grubber kick over the dead-ball line. The Bati now have a penalty as Irish prop Brett White catches Korbin Sims with a high shot on half-way.

  62.  

    Joel Pennington: I went to high school with Aaron Groom, who is playing for Fiji tonight. Didn't dare attempt to tackle him.

  63. 2002: 
    KICK-OFF

    Referee Phil Bentham gets us under way...

  64. 2000: 

    These big blokes know how to belt out an anthem. Plenty of passion from both teams. The Fijians are now in a huddle singing their team song. Some of their players are in tears. It means so much.

  65.  

    Danny Nixon: I'm going for a Fiji win but it will be a tough hard game!

  66. 1955: 
    FIVE MINUTES TO KICK OFF...

    The teams are out and preparing for their respective national anthems.

    You can listen to live commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra and online here.

  67. 1953: 
    WILL IRISH EYES BE SMILING?

    It will be an emotional and proud moment for half-back Liam Finn when he leads out Ireland at Spotland tonight.

    The 29-year-old, who plays for Championship side Featherstone and also works as an electrician, was born and raised in Yorkshire.

    "I see it as a privilege every time I do it and that's why I'm not one of these people who comes and goes for the fancy games," said Finn, whose late father was from Wexford.

    "I want to be there year in, year out, and that's what I have done for Ireland. I have always treated it with the respect it deserves."

  68. 1952: 
    WILL FIJI PRIDE BE ENOUGH?

    Fiji would like nothing more than to celebrate their proud history with Rochdale with a victory over Ireland this evening.

    The town's rugby league club - the Hornets - signed several Fijian players during the 1960's and a long-lasting friendship has developed since.

    Speaking at the tournament's launch at Old Trafford last week, captain Petero Civoniceva told BBC Sport: "It's something that the players have been very humbled by - the Fijian connection to Rochdale.

    "To have a few players from a tiny Pacific nation come thousands of kilometres away to ply their trade makes us feel very proud.

    "Hopefully we can keep that proud link to Rochdale going and put in a good show against Ireland."

  69. 1950: 
    ONE TO WATCH - IRELAND
    Pat Richards and Sam Tomkins with the Super League trophy

    So far, this has been a dream year for Pat Richards.

    The 31-year-old winger announced in April that 2013 would be his last season with the Warriors before returning to his native Australia.

    He signed off in style, winning the Challenge Cup in August and the Super League Grand Final in October - scoring a try in Wigan's win over Warrington at Old Trafford.

    Richards qualifies for the Wolfhounds via his parents, who are both Irish, and was part of the side that reached a World Cup quarter-final in 2008.

  70. 1949: 
    ONE TO WATCH - FIJI
    Petero Civoniceva

    The 2013 World Cup will be the final act in the outstanding career of Petero Civoniceva.

    Born in Fiji's capital, Suva, his family emigrated to Australia before his first birthday. Civoniceva went on to represent his adopted nation 45 times and started their World Cup final defeat by New Zealand five years ago, as well as starring in the NRL for more than a decade.

    Now 37, the veteran prop will lead the country of his birth at this tournament and his experience will be key to the progress of an exciting Fiji team.

  71. 1947: 
    TEAM NEWS REMINDER

    Fiji: Kevin Naiqama; Manka Koroibete, Sisa Ledua Waqa, Wes Naiqama, Akuila Uate; Alipate Noilea, Aaron Groom; Ashton Sims, James Storer, Petero Civoniceva, Tariq Sims, Jayson Bukuya, Korbin Sims. Replacements: Apisal Koroisau, Kane Evans, Vitale Junior Roqica.

    Ireland: Scott Grix; Damien Blanch, Stuart Littler, Apirana Pewhairangi, Pat Richards; James Mendeika, Liam Finn; Brett White, Rory Kostjasyn, Eamon O'Carroll, Tyrone McCarthy, Dave Allen, Ben Currie. Replacements: Bob Beswick, James Hasson, Kurt Haggerty, Anthony Mullally.

    Referee: Phil Bentham

  72. 1946: 

    Conditions appear to have settled down in Rochdale. As with much of the rest of the United Kingdom, it's been a rainy and blustery day in Greater Manchester, but the rain has stopped as we close in on kick-off in around 15 minutes' time.

  73. 1943: 
    SUSPENSION FOR SAM
    Sam Burgess

    The big World Cup news of the day so far is the one-match ban handed to England forward Sam Burgess for his high tackle on Australia's Sam Thaiday during the 28-20 defeat in Cardiff.

    Burgess, the eldest of the three brothers in Steve McNamara's 24-man squad, will be unavailable for England's second Group A fixture against Ireland in Huddersfield on Saturday.

  74. 1941: 

    Missed any of the World Cup action so far? Fear not - you can catch up via the BBC iPlayer.

    Tanya Arnold, Brian Noble and Robbie Hunter-Paul look back at the first weekend of the tournament in the first of our weekly highlights programmes.

    You can see both of England's remaining group games against Ireland and Fiji on BBC One, while every game of the competition is live on either BBC Radio 5 Live or Sports Extra.

  75. 1939: 
    THE SPIRIT OF RUGBY LEAGUE
    Clint Newton

    Players from all 14 nations taking part in the World Cup are to raise funds for victims of Australia's bushfire disaster, in an initiative launched by former Hull KR forward Clint Newton.

    Newton, who is playing for the United States, has family and friends in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales, where dozens of fires continue to cause devastation.

    All 14 teams have donated signed jerseys, which will be auctioned off to support the Salvation Army, which has begun the task of rebuilding the lives of those who lost their homes.

    Newton, who will return to Newcastle Knights in 2014 after two seasons with Penrith, said: "The response from the other nations and the NRL with regards to their willingness to help, however possible, is a credit to all involved.

    "It shows how much these events have affected players and the rugby league fraternity because every team here has members who have strong ties to the Australian people who have been so deeply affected."

  76. 1937: 

    Ireland coach Mark Aston: "We have been really good in training and we've given our players a lot of knowledge. I have to say yesterday was a great session and they were ready for it.

    "We are in a great group and it is a challenge, that is why we play international rugby league. We believe we have a gameplan to challenge Fiji, let's see what answers they throw up."

  77. 1935: 

    Fiji coach Rick Stone: They [the people of Rochdale] have really welcomed us into their community. Hopefully the Rochdale fans will be right behind Fiji tonight.

    On Ireland's dangers: "Probably the forwards. They've got some good outside backs as well, but we're concentrating on ourselves. If we do our things well, we'll be in with a good chance."

  78.  

    Pete Owen: As a Rochdalian, it is going to be good becoming Fijian for the next couple of hours.

    Mark Cashen: Good luck Ireland. Hoping for a great result.

  79. 1928:  
    Robbie Hunter-Paul, Former New Zealand international and BBC Sport expert

    "I'm really looking forward to seeing what Fiji can offer this World Cup competition.

    "They have a host of NRL players that go throughout their team so I think they're one team to look at."

  80. 1925: 

    I was lucky enough to be reporting from that game in Warrington last night, and am I alone in hoping a "Haka-off" is introduced before every game of professional sport played in this country?

  81. 1924: 

    Around 35 minutes to go until kick-off between Fiji and Ireland at Spotland.

    The build-up will have to go some way to match that of last night's encounter between New Zealand and Samoa.

    Watch the video as the two sides face off in a 'battle of the war cries'.

  82. 1922: 
    LAST TIME AROUND
    Fiji v Ireland in 2008

    Both Fiji and Ireland registered their best performances at a World Cup in Australia five years ago.

    They qualified for a semi-final eliminator after topping their respective groups, with Fiji beating the Wolfhounds 30-14 to book their place in the last four.

    But the Bati proved no match for the host nation in their semi-final encounter in Sydney, losing 52-0 to Australia.

  83. 1918: 
    A HISTORIC DAY FOR ROCHDALE

    One of the beauties of this World Cup is that some of the games are being played away from the homes of traditional "big clubs" in Super League.

    Until tonight, Rochdale had never staged a World Cup fixture in any sport.

    Rochdale Hornets were playing in the third tier of domestic rugby league last term, and yet they, along with places such as Workington, Bristol and Halifax, will be hosting matches.

    Chairman Mark Wynn told BBC Sport: "It has taken four years of hard work from the initial germ of an idea. The story of Fiji's links with Rochdale was really on a shelf gathering dust, but people like myself and [Hornets chief executive] Ryan Bradley were shouting it from the rooftops.

    "It's what World Cups are about. Sport, on an international stage, crosses boundaries and it becomes more than just two lots of 13 blokes playing."

  84. 1915:  
    Jamie Peacock, Former England captain and BBC Sport expert

    "Ireland are in the same group as England and Australia and I doubt they are capable of upsetting those two, but they will be hoping to give them a close game.

    "It is clear that the other teams in the group, including Fiji, are much stronger, but Ireland will look at this World Cup as an opportunity to give rugby league a huge lift in their country."

    Read Jamie Peacock's assessment of the other home nations competing at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup here.

  85. 1912: 
    Billy Slater scores a try for Australia against England

    Tonight's game is the second in Group A. The first saw pre-tournament favourites Australia defeat co-hosts England 28-20 in Cardiff on Saturday.

  86.  

    Stuie Neale: This should be good Fiji by 4 for me.

  87. 1909: 
    FIJI & ROCHDALE - THE UNLIKELIEST OF ALLIES

    For the people of Rochdale, tonight's game represents a chance to further enhance a friendship with Fiji that has lasted for more than half a century.

    Orisi Dawai and Joe Levula became Fiji's first professional rugby league players when they signed for Rochdale Hornets in 1961.

    Many more followed, and their impact was such that Rochdale now boasts the largest population of Fijians in the United Kingdom outside London.

    Read about their story and how the unlikeliest of alliances has developed, with a little help from rugby league.

  88. 1905: 
    TEAM NEWS
    Fiji's Petero Civoniceva and Ireland's Liam Finn

    Fiji: Kevin Naiqama; Manka Koroibete, Sisa Ledua Waqa, Wes Naiqama, Akuila Uate; Alipate Noilea, Aaron Groom; Ashton Sims, James Storer, Petero Civoniceva, Tariq Sims, Jayson Bukuya, Korbin Sims. Replacements: Apisal Koroisau, Kane Evans, Vitale Junior Roqica.

    Ireland: Scott Grix; Damien Blanch, Stuart Littler, Apirana Pewhairangi, Pat Richards; James Mendeika, Liam Finn; Brett White, Rory Kostjasyn, Eamon O'Carroll, Tyrone McCarthy, Dave Allen, Ben Currie. Replacements: Bob Beswick, James Hasson, Kurt Haggerty, Anthony Mullally.

    Referee: Phil Bentham

  89.  
    GET INVOLVED

    So far, the World Cup has more than lived up to its billing. Close finishes, superb tries, big hits and the odd comical moment (mentioning no names, Sonny Bill Williams...)

    What has been your highlight so far? Which players have stood out? Which team has impressed you most?

    We are also after your pictures if you are at a World Cup game over the next five weeks.

    There are plenty of ways to get involved - text 81111, tweet using #bbcrl or post a message on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  90. 1900: 

    Good evening, and welcome to day three of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

    Rochdale's Spotland hosts the second fixture in Group A, as Fiji and Ireland get their campaigns under way.

    England and Australia - two of the pre-event favourites to win the competition - are expected to claim two of their three quarter-final berths on offer, and the winner of tonight's game is likely to determine the identity of the third.

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